segunda-feira, 8 de fevereiro de 2010

Ambiguidades semânticas, ou...

como diria uma personagem de Woody Allen, "todos os problemas da nossa vida são problemas de semântica." Escrevo isto a propósito do romance de Robert Penn Warren, All he King's Men. Será esta uma referência irónica àqueles que servem o detentor do poder? Ou ainda um índice subtil do código de cavalaria sulista?
Para intensificar a ambiguidade, aqui fica a "nursery rhyme" na qual esta expressão surge:

'Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.'

E já agora, aqui fica também o diálogo de Alice com Humpty Dumpty em Through the Looking-Glass sobre... semântica:

'"I don't know what you mean by 'glory,'" Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't – till I tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!'"
"But 'glory' doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument,'" Alice objected.
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in a rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master – that's all."
Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again.
"They've a temper, some of them – particularly verbs, they're the proudest – adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs – however, I can manage the whole lot! Impenetrability! That's what I say!"'

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